Grab the umbrella, NJ: Thursday is this week’s one and only wet day
The Bottom Line
Thursday is not going to be a nice weather day. But that's OK. In my opinion, we should happily accept every raindrop the sky is willing to give. It is amazing how quickly we recovered from severe drought conditions this month. But we absolutely do not want to spiral into a new rainfall deficit. (And, of course, several parts of the state are still behind normal precipitation for the year.)
So, your forecast in a nutshell... Rain Thursday. Back to sunshine Friday and Saturday. A shower chance Sunday. And then temperatures take another step backward. By the middle of next week, we may be staring down high temperatures only in the 50s. And probably our first widespread frost of the season.
Cloudy, breezy, and wet. You might even notice a hint of humidity in the air, as dew points rise into the 60s.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), initial showers have already arrived along the western edge of the state. It will take a while for radar to really fill in Thursday morning. The general rule is that rain will become steadier, heavier, and more widespread the later it gets Thursday afternoon. But I'm still not calling it a washout — there will be breaks in the rainfall action along the way.
The grand finale round of thunderstorms will slide in starting around 7 or 8 p.m., as the main cold front arrives from the west. After about Midnight, clearing skies and drier conditions will prevail.
In terms of rainfall totals, I think we'll average a half-inch across the state. Healthy rain, and enough to call it "a wet day". However, there is a good chance for some downpours, which could push rain gauges over an inch. (The NAM model is still insistent that much of NJ could see inch-plus rainfall.)
In terms of the severe weather potential, it's low. There could be some localized areas of flooding. And some wind gusts. The tornado risk is not quite zero, but it's close. We will have substantial humidity and a touch of instability in the atmosphere, but I don't think it's enough to ring significant alarm bells. (I left the "yellow alert" icon on the 5 Day Forecast just in case.)
Ambient wind gusts may approach 30 mph at some point. Note: I've downgraded my on-air wind forecast from "windy" to "breezy" based on the latest model trends..
In terms of temperatures, Thursday morning is starting out at least 10 degrees warmer than Wednesday morning, near 60 degrees. Highs should reach about 65 to 70 degrees. That's pretty close to normal for this time of year.
Even as skies clear and a new air mass arrives Thursday night, temperatures won't tumble much. My forecast puts overnight lows in the mid 50s by Friday morning.
By the time you wake up Friday morning, skies should have flipped back to sunshine. (Maybe with a few residual fair-weather clouds.) We'll start Friday in the mid 50s, and top out around 65 to 70 (again). A light northwesterly breeze and return to dry air should contribute to a beautiful October day.
Maybe the nicest day of the week. And how convenient it lines up with the start of the weekend!
There will be a chill in the air Saturday morning, as thermometers return to the 40s. Warming into the lower 70s in the afternoon, with golden sunshine overhead. No wind or rain concerns, just a gorgeous day.
Slightly less gorgeous, with one small hiccup in the forecast.
And that hiccup is a weak cold front potentially driving in some showers early Sunday morning. Around the 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. time frame. Best rain chances would be around the southern half of the state. Nothing heavy, nothing lengthy — just a quick hit of damp weather to start the day.
The rest of Sunday looks fine and dandy, with partly sunny skies. High temperatures will rise into the lower 70s one more time.
The Extended Forecast
The big story for next week will be another knockback in temperatures. Highs will only reach the 60s on Monday, with a shower chance. And then Tuesday and Wednesday are primed to barely hit the 50s. That is considerably cooler-than-normal for mid-October.
Additionally, we'll have to watch the low temperature forecast closely. I think the coldest corners of the state could return to "frost" territory on Tuesday morning. And then I would say our first widespread frost/freeze of the season is looking likely for Wednesday morning. (Away from warmer cities and coast, that is.)
The second half of October is trending cooler, and relatively dry. New Jersey faces no tropical threats, and there are no big storm systems on the horizon.